• Kirk Hartley

Reliving Part of the Manville Bankruptcy: Bogdan Law Firm v. Bevan & Assocs., LPA (In re Johns-

The Johns-Manville chapter 11. A debacle of expediency and short-term thinking from 1992-1998, and then later “do overs.” In one of its phases, there were multiple “direct actions” suits against Travelers, which was the primary primary insurer of Manville. According to some plaintiff lawyers, Manville and Travelers conspired to defraud many plaintiffs. As a result, there were settlements and then debates about attorneys’ fees payable to plaintiff lawyers who filed some but not all of the direct action claims. The debate about attorneys’ fees ultimately recently produced an opinion that revisits some of the old days.  In it, the court explained:

“These direct action lawsuits reached a critical mass in early 2002. Trial Tr. June 14, 2016, 11:19-20, June 24, 2016, ECF No. 213 (“Tr. 6/14/2016″). On June 19, 2002, Travelers filed its first order to show cause for a temporary restraining order in this Court, seeking to preliminary enjoin certain direct action asbestos lawsuits that had been filed against Travelers in various state courts. See Mem. Law Supp. Order to Show Cause, In re Johns-Manville Corp., No. 82-11656 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. June 19, 2002), ECF No. 3413. The Court granted the order to show cause the same day. Order to Show Cause, In re Johns-Manville Corp., No. 82-11656, ECF No. 3412. On July 2, 2002, this Court entered a signed stipulated briefing schedule agreed to by Travelers and certain asbestos plaintiffs’ attorneys, [*10] including Lawrence Madeksho. Stipulation, In re Johns-Manville Corp., No. 82-11656, ECF No. 3425.”

The opinion recounts some of the amazing Manville history. It is not for publication, but is online as Bogdan Law Firm v. Bevan & Assocs., LPA (In re Johns-Manville Corp.), Nos. 82-11656 (CGM), 15-01023 (CGM), 2016 Bankr. LEXIS 3145 (U.S. Bankr. S.D.N.Y. Aug. 26, 2016).

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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”


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